- Treece is performing at Icons tonight. Nas is hosting. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Yesterday, we marveled at a Washington Post report that Nas is going to be in Fairfax, Va., tonight, at Icons. Also marveling? Northern Virginia rapper Treece, of Syntax, who will enjoy the honor of opening up for the legendary MC.
(Nas' appearance is billed as a "hosting," not an actual performance, but we have a feeling he's going to jump on the mic for a sec).
Treece, (currently the only member of the group who performs live) formed Syntax in the early '00s, with friends M.C. and Newman III, while the three were in junior high in Fairfax. He says Syntax was actually the first live act to perform at Icons.
"The first gig at Icons was last June -- June 2010 -- and that was the first time we had performed at a venue like that, and also the first live music Icons had ever had there," he says.
Since that time, the group (set to release the album Lucid Dreams this year) has sort of become an opening act of choice at the sports bar/restaurant. "They brought in Cannabis, a pretty popular rapper in the late '90s, last July, and that was our first big opportunity to open for a major name," says Treece (AKA Patrick Laiti). "It's just kind of been a building process from there. They had Wale in February, and we opened for him, and Jeremih in May, and we opened for him.
"Icons is doing a great job with these shows," he continues. "I'm glad we got in early, and helped get the ball rolling with the hip-hop shows and have maintained a relationship with them."
So what's Treece's game plan for tonight?
"With every artist I open for, I try to evaluate the crowd," he says. "With Jeremih, who's an R&B singer, I tried to lean more towards songs about girls and relationships. I definitely adapt what I do based on who I think will be there, and what crowd an artist will generate. With Nas, I'm going to stick to more uptempo songs, and keep the people excited and hype. I'll definitely throw a few wrinkles in -- maybe spit my lyrics over an instrumental from one of his old albums, just to keep the crowd involved in the theme of the night."
"Nas is obviously one of the best hip-hop artist that ever lived--he's definitely a legend," Treece continues. "I've been listening to him since I was 14 years old. I don't wanna say it's overwhelming, but it's definitely surreal."